Let's agree on two things: if it is not fried dough, call it a donut, not a doughnut and this motherhood thing is not for the faint of heart. The first, I just made up and the latter I am slowly learning.
I'm typing frantically, hoping that Ella sleeps twenty more minutes so I can finish this post and clean the toilets. You probably shouldn't mention toilets on a food blog. Also, you probably shouldn't talk about poopy diapers while you're at lunch with a bunch of lovely ladies, but its kinda par for the course today. All of this to say, that this time in my life is full of emotions. Emotions and complete craziness.
Some days I wish Ella would just learning how to walk/talk/use the toilet already. And then, in the same day, I will cry because she's almost getting too long to lay in my lap anymore and the elephant pajamas with the ruffles on the butt don't fit. I feel guilt for leaving her to work, obligated to work so I can give her everything. And in twelve years she will absolutely hate me, and five or so after that she'll leave completely.
My mom came to visit recently, and I am reminded and glad for the way our relationship has grown. It got me thinking a lot about the lineage of mother's before me. In fits of daydreaming and tired-mind wandering, I remember my mom's mother. Her house cast a sepia tone on everything in the summers I spent there. She kept a small garden and her cellar was lined with canned beans and carrots. Two freezers below the house kept blueberries we picked, popsicles, cool-whip, and bags of her cake donuts.
I wasn't one of those cooks who was taught at my grandmother's hip. I begrudgedly picked snap peas and peeled the toothy thread from the back steps of her little house on the corner. She always always took me blueberry picking under the guise that it was something I loved. I do now, but I was easily bored with it as a kid. Now I wish I had paid more attention to her in the kitchen. She made the very best cake donuts. My father loved them so much that she continued to make them for him long after my parents divorced. She made them every time I came to visit until her arthritis bothered her too much and then she'd ask a friend to make them for me. I never learned to make them from her before she passed.
On a trip home last fall I got to look through her recipes and found two notes regarding the infamous donuts. Neither is quite right, I'm sure something is missing. Now I'm sure the secret ingredient was her well word hands and heart. She too knew motherhood is not for the weak.
Donut Bundt Cake with Chocolate Glazeserves 10-12
Inspired by my grandmother's cake donuts that were flavored with cinnamon and nutmeg and deep fat fried, this cake requires a few extra steps than most cakes; I promise its worth it.
1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature, plus 2 tablespoons for the pan
2 cups sugar, plus 2 tablespoons for the pan
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extra
1 cup whole milk
For the glaze:
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup half and half
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
Sprinkles, optional but highly highly recommended
Heat the oven to 350˚F and rub a large bundt pan with two tablespoons butter. Make sure to cover the pan well to prevent sticking later. Next coat the pan with 2 tablespoons of sugar: it easiest to do this by dumping the sugar into the pan, covering the pan with plastic wrap and shaking the whole pan until it well coated, remove the plastic wrap and tap out any excess sugar.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon in a medium bowl.
Cream together the butter and sugar in a stand mixer on medium-high, until lighted, 3-4 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium and add the eggs one at a time, making sure each is incorporated before adding the next. Stir in the vanilla.
Add one third of the flour mixture and stir in at medium speed. Stop scrap down the work bowl and add half of the milk. Repeat, ending with the last third of the flour mixture.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake 45 minutes to an hour, until the cake is set and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool 15 minutes in the pan, then remove and cool completely before glazing.
For the glaze: Combine the butter, milk, and vanilla in a small saucepan and bring just to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from the heat and toss in the chocolate. Leave the chocolate alone for 2 minutes and then whisk until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and whisk, whisk, whisk until smooth. Pour over the cooled cake, sprinkle on your sprinkles and set for 30 minutes before slicing.
I suggest serving this cake with hot coffee and some good belly laughs.
More Donut Cravings? Check out:
Emma's Donut Cake
Luisa's Donut Cake
Deb's Cinnamon Brown Butter Breakfast Puffs